MY WORD: Contraception issue a matter of freedom

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By Eugene Maynard

It really puzzles me how Linda Allewalt (“Catholics can’t have issue both ways,” Aug. 29) could ignore the basic issue that her article puts forth concerning this administration’s contraception mandate, in light of existing law. It is just not the Catholics that this president and his administration demean, insofar as values are concerned. Most Christians believe the state must never infringe on the conscience of the citizens where religious beliefs would be violated.

This ill-conceived policy comprises a true radical mandate against religious liberty. The guarantee provided by our founding documents refutes such a decision by a sitting administration. If you are interpreting the First Amendment properly. Jay Carney, media mouthpiece for our president, readily denied this by stating, “There are no Constitutional-rights issues” involved.

However, that is not the manner most believers of the Christian doctrine would agree with regarding this mandate.

If governmental mandate forces an action contrary to Christian belief and conscience that is so clearly adverse to their philosophy in the form of a law, executive order, legislative bill or other mandate under the auspices of the federal or state government, it is violating the First Amendment to the Constitution of the U.S. Believers should not be required to follow that mandate – because it is unlawful. Else, why would the Founding Fathers have written: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

This policy is a direct attack against religious liberty. The First Amendment not only is violated, but this is the most direct attack against religious freedom ever constructed by a federal administration since the nation was instituted.

It is no justification to say, as Allewalt did in her article, many individuals within the Catholic faith ignore the Pope’s and the Catholic Church’s ruling concerning this question. It is up to each individual’s conscience. Understand the difference – it’s the mandate. When this administration repeals the Constitution, we can discuss this action once again. I hope not to be present in my mortal body when that occurs.

Alexander Hamilton insisted: “The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.”
“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…” – these are natural rights, gifts from God, not government.

"Moreover, it was with firm regard to this deeply held belief that our Constitution was written and ratified, 'in order to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.' As such, it established a constitutional republic ruled by laws based on natural rights, not rights allocated by government or those in positions of power."
George Washington wrote in his 1796 farewell address, “If the sense of religious obligation deserts the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in the Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

The conviction that our rights are innately bestowed by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” is within the constitutional preambles of every state in our nation.

Mr. Barack Obama should really review them and make them required reading for his administrative leaders and policymakers.


Eugene Maynard lives in Simpsonville.